Rays at Rangers, in the heat
UPDATE, 7:37: Here are some quotes from Joe Maddon on the Bartlett/Shoppach/three catcher situations:
On putting Bartlett on the DL: "We just decided eventually that we did not want to push JB, preferably just give him his time off and make sure that it’s well and right and that he’s fine for the rest of the season basically. It’s not awful, he’s doing actually pretty good, we just felt it was the right thing to do right now.''
On bringing back Shoppach early from his rehab: "With Shop, he was really, really close so it just made sense for right now to go that direction. He hasn’t been stretched out yet to nine innings so I’ve got to be careful with that but we have three catchers so there’s other things you can do.’’
On using Shoppach, John Jaso and Dioner Navarro: "Primarily you’re going to see probably a lot of starts out of Shop and Jaso and you’re going to see Navi filter in there some, probably defensively, and then kind of like a caddy in a sense to Shop right now. Although we’ll see how Shop does, to being pushed these number of innings, it may alter what we can or can not do with him.’’
UPDATE, 5:43: Shoppach said he got word before Thursday's game with Triple-A Durham that he was coming back as long he felt he could catch nine innings. "I'm here,'' he said. ... Bartlett said he felt his hamstring was getting better but that he wasn't sure he would be ready to play tonight, so he understood the Rays' decision.
UPDATE, 5:05: As expected, Kelly Shoppach is going right into the lineup, catching and batting sixth. Also, Sean Rodriguez gets the start at short over lefty-swinging Reid Brignac.
The Rays' lineup:
DEVELOPING: A few Rays have ventured out to run on the field this afternoon - and now-DLed SS Jason Bartlett was doing his rehab exercises - but most will stay inside as much as possible this weekend. The Rays are planning to hit on the field today, but before the Saturday and Sunday afternoon games.
Here is the Rangers lineup, with Vladimir Guerrero back at the DH spot: